Thursday, April 07, 2005

Pleistocene Rock

Slim's, San Francisco
April 5, 2005

Mastodon were a wall of fucking sound. Me loved them. It makes me smile when a crowd is sent into a frenzy by a band's musicianship. It also makes me smile when a large portion of a crowd can sing along to lyrics such as:

"Myth or legend, nymph tale washed ashore, near The Kraken sleepeth stirs coral and bone, infinite city..."

Who said kids these days don't read? They might not be reading books, but at least they're reading song lyrics printed in CD booklets.

Now here's something to chew on: Evidently, Mastodon's latest album is partly based on Melville's 'Moby Dick'.. I think it's safe to assume that they might read books. (Although 'Moby Dick' is one of those books, like 'The Bible' and 'War & Peace', that everyone has heard of but few have actually read).. On the other hand, aside from Harry Potter, kids these days don't read books.. BUT they can (if they're cool enough) listen to a band like Mastodon who DO read books other than Harry Potter (supposidely). Perhaps there is a professional educator out there who can give their opinion about this in 500 words or less (single spaced).

The New York Times even gushed about Mastodon (supposidely) reading books in its Dec. 27, 2004 issue:

"Let's get the concept out of the way quickly. ''Leviathan'' is a song cycle based on Herman Melville's ''Moby-Dick.'' The band's drummer, Brann Dailor, was reading the novel last year and came across the early passage that calls the whale ''the salt-sea Mastodon''; after that, the rest of the book seemed like a metaphor for a small crew of manic, undershowered rock musicians on tour. (The whale is the audience, if you like, or maybe the elusive quantity of hard-rock apotheosis.) The directly Melville-related lyrics on ''Leviathan'' appear early. The line ''There's magic in the water that attracts all men'' roars over a crooked riff in ''I Am Ahab.'' Others apply by extension: ''Island'' invokes the old metal themes of Norse gods and volcanic eruptions, and the lyrics of ''Hearts Alive'' are generally about watery violence."

Musta been a slow news day.. "Rock band reads books! Film at 11:00!!" Sounds "fishy" to me.. Plus, the DRUMMER was reading the book?? I thought they only read comics and menus.

The guy standing behind me debated with his friends how he could wear his newly purchased Mastodon shirt to work and not offend anyone. The guy standing in front of me gave the devil horn sign, banged his head, and whooped "MASTODON!!" at the roadies setting up onstage. He also excitedly pointed out to his friend "Dude! A Flying-V!!" as if he'd never seen one before. Guess he was excited to be at the show.

Punters muscled out of the show by security = 3. On the way back to the car some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. The last book Umlaut read was 'How Black Was Our Sabbath'.. which is a profound metaphor for global warming and the effect it has on Wi-Fi technology in impoverished Eastern European cities where physically challenged taxi drivers must compete with Asian immigrants for fares.


Umlaut friend Salome is a "Professional Educator" and offered her perspective on The Kids of today:

"professional edjukater checks in -- they do read! some of them read a lot! but lots grajiate without ever having read a whole book. we're working on it.... one tiny brain at a time... and hey, i've read moby dick three times!"

Or, as Mastodon sings, "White Whale, Holy Grail, split your lungs with blood and thunder..."